Boxfish is one of many startups that have popped up over the last several years to help TV viewers better find shows that they’d like to watch. Now looking to extend that technology to a number of consumer electronics manufacturers, cable providers, and third-party app developers, it’s raised $7 million in new funding.
By parsing information provided in the captions that are distributed with live TV broadcasts, Boxfish is able to make sense of what’s happening on hundreds of TV channels in real-time. And it can use that information to guide viewers to content they want to watch.
A year and a half ago, Boxfish leveraged that technology to launch an iPad app. It soon after followed that up with an Android app that provided the same functionality, as well as an API for third-party developers to build off its platform.
Now, less than a year later, Boxfish has more than 100 third-party developers using its API and licensing data to build their own video discovery tools. That includes a number of big cable companies, as well as consumer electronics manufacturers who plan to use the tools to better understand their viewers, and target content toward them.
That new line of business has propelled Boxfish beyond just its own second-screen app, and providing an additional layer of content discovery that can be added directly into cable set-top boxes and Internet-connected TV sets. By licensing API access to CE makers, broadcasters, and service providers, those partners are able to build next-generation products to let viewers know about shows and movies they previously might not have known about.
With all that in mind, the company has raised some additional funding — $7 million from Dublin-based investment firm Atlantic Bridge Ventures, as well as Samsung. While Samsung provides a bit of strategic money and could help Boxfish gain more distribution in its own products, it’s not an exclusive deal and the company will continue to work with other CE manufacturers.
According to co-founder Eoin Dowling, the funding will be used to increase headcount as the company begins to serve new markets. It recently launched a Dublin office, for instance, in preparation for offering the same sort of discovery data there as well.